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The Troggs

Remembered chiefly as proto-punkers who reached the top of the charts with the "caveman rock" of "Wild Thing" (1966), the Troggs were also adept at crafting power pop and ballads. Hearkening back to a somewhat simpler, more basic British Invasion approach as psychedelia began to explode in the late '60s, the group also reached the Top Five with their flower-power ballad "Love Is All Around" in 1968. While more popular in their native England than the U.S., the band also fashioned memorable, insistently riffing hit singles like "With a Girl Like You," "Night of the Long Grass," and the notoriously salacious "I Can't Control Myself" between 1966 and 1968. Paced by Reg Presley's lusting vocals, the group -- which composed most of their own material -- could crunch with the best of them, but were also capable of quite a bit more range and melodic invention than they've been given credit for.

Hailing from the relatively unknown British town of Andover, the Troggs hooked up with manager/producer Larry Page (who was involved in the Kinks' early affairs) in the mid-'60s. After a flop debut single, they were fortunate enough to come across a demo of Chip Taylor's "Wild Thing" (which had already been unsuccessfully recorded by the Wild Ones). In the hands of the Troggs, "Wild Thing" -- with its grungy chords and off-the-wall ocarina solo -- became a primeval three-chord monster, famous not only in its original hit Troggs version, but in its psychedelic revamping by Jimi Hendrix, who used it to close his famous set at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.

"Wild Thing" made number one in the States, but the Troggs' momentum there was impeded by a strange legal dispute which saw their early records simultaneously released on two different labels. Nor did it help that the band didn't tour the U.S. for a couple of years. As a consequence, the fine follow-up singles "With a Girl Like You" and "I Can't Control Myself" didn't do as well as they might have. In Britain, it was a different story -- they were smashes, although "I Can't Control Myself" had such an open-hearted lust that it encountered resistance from conservative radio programmers all over the globe.

The Troggs tempered their image on subsequent ballads, which utilized a sort of pre-"power ballad" approach. These weren't bad, and a few of them were British hits, but they weren't as fine as the initial blast of singles which established the band's image. "Love Is All Around," which restored them to the American Top Ten in 1968, was their finest effort in this vein. It was also their final big hit on either side of the Atlantic.

But the Troggs would keep going for a long, long time. In a sense they were handicapped by their image -- they were not intellectuals, certainly, but they weren't dumb either. They wrote most of their songs, and their albums were reasonably accomplished, if hardly up to the level of the Kinks or Traffic, containing some nifty surprises like the gothic ballad "Cousin Jane," or the tongue-in-cheek psychedelia of "Maybe the Madman." By 1970, though, they were struggling. They continued to release a stream of singles, most of which had a straightforward simplicity that was out of step with the progressive rock of the time, all of which flopped, though some were fairly good.

The Troggs' image as lunkheads couldn't have been helped by the notorious Troggs Tapes, a 12-minute studio argument that was captured on tape while the band were unawares. The Spinal Tap-like dialog helped keep their cult alive, though, and as punk gained momentum in the mid-'70s, they gained belated appreciation as an important influence on bands like the Ramones and (earlier) the MC5. They found enough live work (sometimes on the punk/new wave circuit) to keep going, although their intermittent records generally came to naught. In 1992, they rose to their highest profile in ages when three members of R.E.M., which had covered "Love Is All Around," backed the Troggs on the comeback album Athens Andover. ~ Richie Unterberger
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Love Is All Around

1. Love Is All Around

2. Wild Thing

3. Give It To Me

4. Hi Hi Haze

5. Night Of The Long Grass

6. Seventeen

7. The Kitty Cat Song

8. Little Girl

9. I Just Sing

10. Jingle Jangle

11. When I'm With You

12. Let Me Tell You Babe

13. You Can Cry If You Want Me

14. Ride Your Pony

15. Lost Girl

16. Hip Hip Hooray

17. I Can Only Give You Everything

18. Louie Louie

x

Track List: Wild Thing

1. Wild Thing

2. With A Girl Like You

5. Give It To Me

6. Night Of The Long Grass

7. Love Is All Around

8. Little Girl

9. Widge You

10. Strange Movie

11. Feels Like A Woman

12. Last Night

13. Bass For My Birthday

14. Hot Days

15. Little Pretty Thing

16. I Don't

17. I Do Do

Comments

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Off to Vietnam to this song, back alive and kicking, Let it Rip
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Hell yes, I'm back in high school.
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Hey Mimi, this isn't your Facbook page. Why don't you text Mike and leave the rest of us out of it ?
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purple shades is their best song
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tell me where you are and I will show you how i
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I want to give you everything I won't leave me in this world alone my Mike your Mimi we won't die young my baby we will survive your mimi
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I want you too I need you too only one night please come over tomorrow night I'm still waiting for your kisses and hugs your mimi
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Could this be the origin of punk rock?
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I saw the Troggs at Max's Kansas City in NY in the early seventies. Sam the Sham & the Pharrohs were on the bill but did not show. The stage was very small, seating was small round tables. I went with a friend and my girlfriend now my wife. I'm waiting for the time machine to be built so I can go back to that night! Memories & Troggs Forever!
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Just about as annoying as bns dude
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My mind has been made up, why don't you understand that I love you?
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Listen to this song in the back seat of my car, high as hell and yes i was doing the wild thing all f**king night
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Listening to my parents AM radio and wild thing groooooovy
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Dear Mr. Fantasy is incredible. It brings back some of the best memories of my teenage years
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60s music is the BEST!!!!!!
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Love is all around is my all time favorite song. It has been since it came out in 1968. I was in highschool so the song brings back many groovy memories
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Just another great garage band.
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johnnyohania n
Reg Presley (born Reginald Maurice Ball) RIP
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survivor45ae r
to this day i see love is all around as a gift to the troggs and in turn a gift to us. like they were channellng something wonderful- words, music, the whole song- and it was the 1960's so somehow this very true song - this love song- could absolutely live side-by-side with other songs like love is definitely not all around in viet nam. crazy times then and actually they're still pretty crazy, but with fantastic opportunitie s for sanity as long as you carry some craziness and love.
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Wild Thing, come on, come on, Wild thing!!!!!
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cherrycarey8 3
Made the piccolo cool.
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Weren't they called The Troglodytes ? I kind of remember that!
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Come on Charile Sheen in major league classic
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This is a great tune, catchy. It's not just Wild Thing. People, squares slept on them.
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The song come now very cool
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Come on, come on, come on Wild Thing, you make Everything, Wild Thing! Come on hold me Tight......Y o u Move Me! ummmmm.
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RIP Reg Presley.
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Great memories of yesteryear.
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Feel Like A Woman WOW where did that come from!
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These guys were freak'n great..Wild Thing, which they actually didn't write(Chip Taylor..brot h e r of John Voight..of all things) is just one of many great songs. Check out With a Girl Like You, Jingle Jangle, From Home, Our Love Will Still Be There & I Want You..to name just a few.
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I love this band. Too bad they were not appreciated as much as they should have been. The band had a lot to offer and I will always be a devoted fan. They were a little ahead of their time, but we know that!.
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The tune I was referring to is feels like a woman...
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Awesome tune! Sounds like Bon Scott era AC/DC!
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hhrothman
The Troggs were a 2 Hit Wonder Group Johnnyo.....
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johnnyohania n
They had much more to offer. Too bad FM radio was so narrow minded and only plays Wild Thing
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in the womb
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lauriechambe r l i n
Wild thing...I think i love you!!
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lauriechambe r l i n
Do you remember where you were when you heard this?
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Rock AND Roll!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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me and marys wedding song many moon ago.
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you make everythig groovy
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donnagay1
And dont forget house of the rising sun and satisfaction ' s opening chords.
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along with iron man and smoke on the water, is probably the easiest recognizable riff in rock and roll history
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budsasse
yay early punks!
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ksears85
very unique!!!
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michaelkstee l e
Now this is punk, too many years ahead of their time...
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Wow, these guys are so complex.

They may be about as simple as a rock, but they're still great.

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love is all around was my wedding song.got married in1980 loveyou mary
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eddiemanmac
I can still remember the first time I heard wild thing......a n d Im still a troggs fan today...
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redtanhawk
this is good news to me having grown up from influence of the Troggs. I liked them then so I'm glad to get them back!
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